Facelift Recovery: What to Expect
Having a facelift can be a life changing decision; and one that requires a great deal of thought, planning, and research. If you are considering a facelift, it’s important to learn about what to expect after surgery to make sure that you schedule the procedure at a time that easily fits into your life. Planning ahead and ensuring that you have an appropriate amount of downtime after the facelift is crucial and can play a huge role in your overall recovery. Facelift expert Dr. Babak Azizzadeh has created this “go-to guide” about what to expect after a facelift for anyone that is interested in the procedure. Dr. Azizzadeh completed his fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at Harvard and has become a leading expert in the field of facial cosmetic surgery. He has authored five best-selling textbooks including the popular Master Techniques in Facial Rejuvenation and Beverly Hills Beauty Secrets. Dr. Azizzadeh is also the director of the USC Facial Plastic Fellowship Program, as well as the director of the widely recognized Cedars-Sinai Advances in Multispecialty Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery Symposium.
The First Week After a Facelift
Immediately after having a facelift procedure, patients can expect to be tired and sore. These feelings are normal and will improve in the days following the surgery. One of the most important things to keep in mind after having a facelift (or any other facial surgery) is to make sure that your hands are clean before touching your face. This will help to keep incisions clean and avoid developing an infection.
Dr. Azizzadeh has his facelift patients clean their incisions located in front of their ears with a q-tip and hydrogen peroxide once every day, and apply anti-biotic ointment to the incisions twice daily.
After having a facelift, patients are provided with a head-wrap bandage. It’s important to wear it as much as possible (ideally 24/7) for the first week after surgery.
For the first three days following the procedure, patients should ice their face as tolerated (a bag of frozen peas can be the perfect icepack). After the first three days, ice should be substituted with a warm compress to help reduce any bruising that may be present.
Patients can shower after their drains have been removed (typically about 48 hours after surgery). It’s important to use luke-warm water and pat the face dry gently with a soft towel. Baths are still off limits and it’s important to try to keep the incisions as dry as possible.
It’s recommended that patients sleep on their back and use extra pillow to elevate their head for the first couple of weeks after a facelift. This will help reduce swelling and keep the incisions safe overnight.
About a week after the surgery, the sutures are removed during the patient’s one week post-op appointment.
The First Month After a Facelift
Most patients experience an immense amount of healing during the first month after a facelift. Patients should still wear their head wrap as much as possible while they are at home for the first week following their procedure. It’s not necessary to wear it out in public, but Dr. Azizzadeh has found that they more time patients wear their head wrap, the better their results.
About three weeks after surgery, patients can resume wearing jewelry (necklaces and earrings in particular).
Exercise can begin slowly about three weeks after the facelift took place, but it’s important to ease back into it. Often times, patients are looking to have a great workout as soon as possible, but it’s extremely important to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right that’s your body’s way of telling you that it’s not quite ready to do sometime so strenuous. Take extra care with any physical activity that requires you to be upside down, like yoga.
As the incisions heal, it’s extremely important to protect them from the sun. Make sure to use an oil-free sunscreen and wear a hat while spending time outside.
Facelift patients need to schedule a one month post-op appointment to have the operating surgeon take a look at their progress and check on their healing.
The First Year After a Facelift
With each month that passes for the first year, the facelift results should continue to look better and better It’s important to continue practicing sun protection; a habit that should become part of your daily routine. Skincare is a great way to compliment the results of a fantastic facelift surgery. Dr. Azizzadeh recommends that his patients use products from the ZO Medical and ZO Health skincare lines. Dr. Azizzadeh and his team of skin care experts can help determine which skin care products are best for your skin’s needs. You need to consult with your operating physician to create a skincare plan that fits your specific needs. Today’s skin care products, especially the ZO Health skincare line, are great at helping maximize and maintain your facelift results. A facelift is a huge investment and skincare can act as insurance so that allows you to preserve your amazing result for as long as possible.
Around the one-year anniversary of your procedure, patients should schedule a one-year post-op appointment so that the surgeon can see how everything has completely healed. Dr. Azizzadeh always enjoys seeing his facelift patients a year later and taking a look at their before and after photographs together to see how much progress they have made.
Schedule your Facelift Consultation with Beverly Hills Facelift Expert Dr. Azizzzdeh
If you are interested in pursuing a facelift or learning more about what to expect, call to schedule a consultation with world-renowned surgeon Dr. Babak Azizzadeh at The CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery (310) 657-2203.